Tiger Mountain (虎山) is one of the Four Beasts (四獸山) of Taipei that includes Elephant Mountain (象山). The trail is less popular than Elephant Mountain as the Taipei MRT is less convenient from the trailhead; however, it does provide hikers with pleasant views on clear days.
The nearest MRT station from the trailhead is Yongchun on the Blue Line, though Xiangshan Station on the Red Line is only about a 20-minute walk away, as is Houshanpi on the Blue Line. There is also a YouBike station nearby at the corner of Fude St. and Linkou St. and another at Fude Park (福德公園).
The trailhead is on Songshan Rd. near Lane 51 Fude St. (note that there are two Songshan Roads, one of which connects to Fude St. while the other connects to Lane 51 Fude St.). Just a few steps from the corner of Lane 51 Fude St. is the staircase leading to Tiger Mountain.
The Hike to Tiger Mountain
The hike to the viewing platform at the peak of Tiger Mountain takes about 15 minutes at a moderate pace — it’s slightly longer than the hike up Elephant Mountain. Rather than a straight staircase up the mountain like at Elephant Mountain, the one at Tiger mountain winds a little more. As there are fewer hikers, the path is a bit narrower as well.
The view along the trail is mostly obscured by nature until reaching the viewing platform, which offers a different angle of the city to enjoy. Again, as it is less traveled, there’s more space to enjoy the view and have a seat to catch your breath.
Continuing along the Trail
After hiking to the peak, visitors can continue on toward 9-5 Peak (九五峰), Mount Thumb (Muzhi Shan, 拇指山), and end at Elephant Mountain. There is some guesswork involved at the end of the Tiger Mountain trail to get to 9-5 Peak, but it’s easy enough as long as hikers remain on the better maintained trail when options present themselves. At the end of the Tiger Mountain trail, there’s a road at which hikers should turn right and then take the stairs that are just before Yaochi Temple (瑤池宮).
If instead, hikers take the road past the temple, it will lead closer to Elephant Mountain for a shorter hike. The hike from Tiger Mountain to Elephant Mountain that include 9-5 Peak is almost four miles and takes two hours at a moderate pace — for a more leisurely hike, expect at least three hours. Add a little more time if taking a short detour to Mount Thumb, which is easily accessible off the trail.
After reaching the peak of Tiger Mountain, the trail levels off for much of the hike. There are still places to climb and descend along the way, but none will be as steep as either Elephant or Tiger Mountain.
In addition to all the views of Taipei and the mountains, there are temples along the trail, some of which require a short detour to extend the hike.
Depending on the season, hikers may even encounter a bit of Taipei’s wildlife, which includes stray dogs, butterflies, and salamanders, as well as a variety of birds. While the dogs are generally calm, it is advised that hikers remain cautious around them.
In all, a moderate hike with only short stops for a drink or a breath takes about two hours from Tiger to Elephant Mountain, excluding walks to and from the MRT stations. If adding the temples and a few more stops to enjoy the views, the hike should take at least three hours.
As with any hike, be sure to check the weather and dress appropriately before heading out on the trail. Bring at least a liter of water along for the hike. Also be aware that portions of this hike can be strenuous.